But I’m Desperate, Lord –  Encouragement for Today – May 2, 2024

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Lynn CowellMay 2, 2024

But I'm Desperate, Lord

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"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (CSB)

My eyes squint as I figure out if it's time to get up. My phone glares back: 4:34 a.m. Too early. Yet it feels like I've been lying in bed praying for hours.

I've been trying to practice the words of the Apostle Paul: "Pray constantly" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). I'm desperately praying about sick family members, struggling friends, and the stress of an unsure future.

There is something else that is constant: the weariness of my heart. All I know is I'm exhausted. Is this what Paul had in mind? This praying-constantly thing, with my burden growing bigger by the minute, doesn't feel like God's will for me. 

In Paul's letter to the Thessalonian church, he gave the directive to pray constantly, but this was just one of his directives. "Pray constantly" is surrounded by other words to help us as we seek the Lord. In fact, it's right in the middle of two other directives:

"Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, emphases added).

The third directive, "give thanks in everything," has stumped me during the majority of my walk with Christ. I can't say I have practiced giving thanks in everything - it feels like too much. I’m supposed to praise God in the middle of my distress?

Paul proposes that praise is to be a part of every prayer that passes from our lips. Praise is the empowering part of prayer. When we choose to praise God with our prayers, we place our burdens in the hands of the One who can bear them. Thanksgiving helps us to shift our focus from our problems to the One who is faithful, capable and in control.

A few verses later, Paul tells us why we are to give thanks in everything: "He who calls you is faithful; he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24, CSB). This is how I can praise Him - and you can too. We can praise God as we pray because we know He is faithful. He has demonstrated His faithfulness to His people, and to you and me, in the past. He will do, in His wisdom, what He knows to do.

Now, I've begun a new practice when praying. I petition our Father, expressing my needs, and then praise Him for His faithfulness. I read Scripture out loud, which helps me to thank God for His greatness, majesty, trustworthiness and holiness. As I state the grandness of my God through praise, instead of just reciting over and over to Him the grief of my sorrows, my burden becomes lighter.

Thanksgiving shifts our heaviness onto the shoulders of the God who can do the impossible.

God who does the impossible, You know the burdens I'm bearing. Today, I shift from bearing my burdens to thanking the One who is faithful. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


At Proverbs 31 Ministries, you help us make an impact! When you give today, you are partnering with us to provide specific scriptures and prayers that will comfort the woman who is in a season she did not choose. Donate today!


Women throughout the Bible called on our faithful God in their troubles and found the confidence they needed to trust Him. Through Lynn Cowell's Bible study Fearless Women of the Bible, you can build your confidence in the God who is faithful.


Stop by Lynn's website today, where she shares the free download "When I'm Desperate to See the Greatness of God."


1 Corinthians 1:9, "God is faithful; you were called by him into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord" (CSB).

Psalm 36:5, "LORD, your faithful love reaches to heaven, your faithfulness to the clouds" (CSB).

Have you ever struggled with the idea of praying constantly? What do you think that means?

How might incorporating thanksgiving into your conversation with the Lord impact your relationship with Him? How might it impact your daily life? Share with us in the comments!

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106